Take a Da Lat delicacy tour

The first thing that springs to mind when people mention Da Lat is a 'city of flowers', but it's also home to a wealth of local delicacies created from the various animals, fruits and vegetables which live and grow in the cool mountainous region.

For me, every time I visit the Central Highland city, I always eat at Nhật Ly Restaurant in the city’s downtown, which offers a wide range of dishes made from simple local ingredients.

Take a Da Lat delicacy tour
Nhật Ly Restaurant seen from the outside.

The restaurant has been running for 25 years, and is the first stop recommended to both tourists and locals.

On my last trip to the city a few months ago, my friend and I had a dinner there, which consisted of gân nai hấp (steamed deer's tendon), lươn rán (fried eel) and canh atiso hầm chân giò (pork shank stewed with artichoke flower), which are among the most popular delicacies at the restaurant.

Take a Da Lat delicacy tour
The restaurant is a popular eating spot for both locals and tourists.

All were served hot with steamed rice and some cà pháo (pickled aubergine).

After a long day trekking up Lang Biang Mountain, our legs were tired, so the tendon was the obvious choice to overcome our fatigue.

Take a Da Lat delicacy tour
Steam deer's tendon is a delicacy of the restaurant.

According to Le Thi Nhi Ha, the owner, the dish is quite time-consuming.

“The dried tendon should be soaked in water used to wash rice overnight so that it turns soft,” she told Việt Nam News.

“Then, the tendon is stewed on a coal cooker for at least 12 hours,” she said. “When the water inside the pot has boiled, the temperature should be turned down to a simmer, just to keep it hot enough to stew the tendon.”

Then the chef washes the tendon in clean water, and cuts it into small pieces ready to be stewed with other ingredients. The tendon that is not used immediately is frozen for another day.

The washed tendon is then marinated in spices and steamed with other ingredients, which may include mushrooms, cauliflower and onion.

The final dish should offer a soft, elastic and sweet tendon, while the soup should be thick and rich.

“That’s among our most time-consuming dishes but our most frequent customers order it again and again,” she said.

The soup of artichoke flower and pork shank, in contrast, is fairly easy to prepare, according to Ha.

Take a Da Lat delicacy tour
Soup of pork shank and artichoke. 

I know the dish can be found at any restaurant in Da Lat as artichokes grow well in the cool climate.

Fat from the pork shank mingles with the artichoke flowers, creating a cool flavour rich in vitamin C, kali and other anti-oxidising substances that may help prevent cancer.

 

The soup is said to help cool the body and may treat diseases caused by internal heat like liver problems, ulcers and acne.

“It is fairly easy to make,” Ha said. “You just cut the flowers into small pieces after rinsing well. Remember to take the flower’s pistil, because there's a chance it could get stuck in your throat.

“The pistil is put in a separate paper bag to dip in hot water to drink after the meal,” she said.

The artichoke flower and the pork shank (which can be replaced by pork ribs or chicken) should be stewed in separate cookers.

Only salt should be added to the meat.

Then mix the two together and heat for a while, before finishing with some more onion.

Ha said the flower should not be stewed for too long with the pork as the flavour could get too strong to digest while the soup would become dark and sticky, making it hard to eat.

Mai Van Bay, a driver, also a frequent customer from HCM City, admitted that the restaurant offered the best artichoke and pork shank soup in the city.

“Whenever I visit the city, I have the dish here,” he said. “I cannot forget the flavour of the artichoke blended so well with the fatty pork.

“My wife is a good cook, but she's not as good as this,” he said. “Maybe because of the fresh artichokes available in Da Lat, I guess.”

Take a Da Lat delicacy tour
Fried eel served hot with roasted peanuts and herbs. VNS Photos Thu Hien

The fried eel was both crispy and elastic, as the eel we had chosen was fat. It cost us VND180,000 (US$7.8).

I paid VND200,000 ($8.6) for the artichoke soup, VND350,000 ($15) for the deer tendon, while the whole meal cost us VND772,000 ($33), including rice and drinks.

Pointing at her menu which features various dishes made from fish, chicken, pork, beef and vegetables, Ha said she recently added grilled beef with pepper sauce, grilled pork rib with honey and grilled pork rib with garlic to the menu.

Nhật Ly Restaurant

88 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Da Lat City

Tel: 0263 382 1651

Comment: Clean, tasty food with delicate way of cooking, quick service, and family-like atmosphere, sometimes a little crowded and noisy during peak hours.

Open hours: 11am-9pm

Price: on average from VND50,000-300,000/pax

Leaving the restaurant, I would like to return to try the grilled pork leg in salt as suggested by the owner, but I will have to wait for my next trip to Da Lat. VNS

By Thu Hien

Đà Lạt's bánh căn: creamy goodness

Đà Lạt's bánh căn: creamy goodness

When searching for top dishes to try in Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, the phrase bánh căn (custard cake) comes up a lot.

Cloud hunting and camping prove popular in Da Lat

Cloud hunting and camping prove popular in Da Lat

Cloud hunting and a range of camping activities in the forest are some of the exciting experiences on offer for young travelers who want to explore Da Lat city, Lam Dong province this summer.

 
 

Other News

.
More Hanoi - HCM City trains to be reopened
More Hanoi - HCM City trains to be reopened
TRAVELicon  25/07/2020 

More trains will resume operations on the Hanoi - HCM City route to meet the rising demand during the summer holiday.

Long An launches tourism portal and app
Long An launches tourism portal and app
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An has launched a virtual portal and a mobile application to provide information about local tourism services and destinations.

Backpacker streets fall quiet amid post-COVID-19 recovery period
Backpacker streets fall quiet amid post-COVID-19 recovery period
TRAVELicon  25/07/2020 

The past few months has witnessed a gloomy atmosphere descend on Japanese and Korean streets in Ho Chi Minh City due to a huge shortage of customers, with many business outlets ceasing operations.

Many tourist sites busy with summer holiday crowds
Many tourist sites busy with summer holiday crowds
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

Many major tourist sites in Vietnam are jammed at this time of the year when people flock for summer holidays after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Khanh Hoa Province hopes to boost tourism with new show
Khanh Hoa Province hopes to boost tourism with new show
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

A new show to promote tourism in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province will be held on August 1.

Japan to resume cross-border travel with Vietnam
Japan to resume cross-border travel with Vietnam
TRAVELicon  23/07/2020 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced on July 22 Japan will introduce the ‘Residence Track’ to allow the resumption of travel for citizens from Vietnam and Thailand as early as late July.

The craft of linen weaving of the H’mong people in Lung Tam
The craft of linen weaving of the H’mong people in Lung Tam
YOUR VIETNAMicon  23/07/2020 

Located in Quan Ba District, Ha Giang Province, Lung Tam is a small valley surrounded by rocky mountains, with the Mien river flowing through. 

Hanoi planning to welcome foreign tourists back
Hanoi planning to welcome foreign tourists back
TRAVELicon  23/07/2020 

The Hanoi People’s Committee has requested relevant agencies to make preparations for welcoming foreign tourists back when circumstances allow.

Cao Bang listed among Top 50 best views in the world
Cao Bang listed among Top 50 best views in the world
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

Leading news website Insider of the United States has named Vietnam’s UNESCO-recognised Non Nuoc Cao Bang geopark among the 50 best views in the world.

Exploring Cha Loi Cave in Quang Binh
Exploring Cha Loi Cave in Quang Binh
TRAVELicon  25/07/2020 

The Cha Loi Cave system, which is located at the foot of a limestone mountain in the northwest of Le Thuy District, in the central province of Quang Binh, has been recently put into operation.

Distinct features of Vietnam’s Dak Nong Geopark
Distinct features of Vietnam’s Dak Nong Geopark
TRAVELicon  26/07/2020 

By winning recognition as a global geopark by UNESCO, Vietnam’s Dak Nong Geopark promises to become an alluring tourist attraction among foreign travellers in the near future.

Stunning sunset on Tam Giang Lagoon
Stunning sunset on Tam Giang Lagoon
TRAVELicon  25/07/2020 

As the largest brackish lagoon in Southeast Asia, Tam Giang Lagoon bears both the wild and quiet beauty of a natural treasure and can totally wow any visitor coming here, particularly during sunset.

Experiences in Lan Ha Bay
Experiences in Lan Ha Bay
TRAVELicon  25/07/2020 

Lan Ha Bay, which is located to the east of Cat Ba island in the northern port city of Hai Phong, is a wonderful destination for visitors to explore, have great experiences and enjoy their weekend vacations.

Beautiful and peaceful Cu Lao Xanh island
Beautiful and peaceful Cu Lao Xanh island
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

Located 13 nautical miles from Quy Nhon City in the south central province of Binh Dinh, Cu Lao Xanh is a beautiful and peaceful island that is considered an island paradise waiting for visitors to explore.

Unique ornamental stones in Yen Bai
Unique ornamental stones in Yen Bai
TRAVELicon  24/07/2020 

Suoi Giang commune in Van Chan district, Yen Bai Province, possesses a source of valuable ornamental stones with different unique shapes and beautiful colours, attracting thousands of visitors to the locality.

Unique coral reef clusters seen above water in central coastal region
Unique coral reef clusters seen above water in central coastal region
TRAVELicon  23/07/2020 

A range of colourful coral reef clusters on Ganh Yen beach in the central province of Quang Ngai can be seen once the tides recede, serving to create a unique picture that fascinates tourists.

Vietnam Airlines resumes charter flights to China
Vietnam Airlines resumes charter flights to China
TRAVELicon  22/07/2020 

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has operated the first charter flight to China’s Nanjing City after a five-month suspension owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sa Pa, Ninh Binh named in Asia’s up-and-coming destinations by TripstoDiscover
Sa Pa, Ninh Binh named in Asia’s up-and-coming destinations by TripstoDiscover
TRAVELicon  22/07/2020 

US travel site TripstoDiscover has named Vietnam’s popular destinations Sa Pa (Lao Cai) and Ninh Binh among the 14 Up-and-Coming Destinations in Asia to Visit.

Vietnam nominated in 11 categories at World Travel Awards 2020
Vietnam nominated in 11 categories at World Travel Awards 2020
TRAVELicon  22/07/2020 

Vietnam has made the shortlist in 11 categories at the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA) 2020.

Summer tourism season brings hope to VN travel firms
Summer tourism season brings hope to VN travel firms
TRAVELicon  23/07/2020 

Summer is typically the biggest sale season of the year for travel firms, and bookings of tours have picked up recently despite COVID-19.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN